WILMINGTON — Mayor John Stanforth appointed Sergeant Ronald Fithen to become Wilmington’s new chief of police, the city announced Wednesday.
Fithen will be honored in a swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, July 7.
“Sergeant Fithen’s promotion to chief reflects his years of dedication to the city and its citizens and the support and guidance he has given to his fellow police officers,” stated Stanforth in a news release.
Fithen has served the Wilmington Police Department for over 30 years, including the last 22 years as a sergeant.
“I am honored that the City of Wilmington has placed their trust in my leadership, and I will do my very best to earn and maintain that trust and faith every day,” said Fithen. “Having the opportunity to lead and support the agency I am so passionate about is a personal blessing.
“I am humbled and grateful to lead the men and women of the Wilmington Police Department. I look forward to building community partnerships and serving the residents of the City of Wilmington.”
Fithen was selected after an internal review of candidates, including a comprehensive written test and a panel interview with city administration and police chiefs from other local jurisdictions, the release stated.
The Ohio Revised Code states that internal candidates must be reviewed for the chief of police position before external candidates are considered, according to the City.
Before being named chief, Fithen has been with the Wilmingotn Police Department since April 1992. He became a sergeant in June 2000.
He has served in multiple roles, including as its first K-9 officer, special response team commander, and a crisis and hostage negotiator.
A 1986 graduate of Milford High School, Fithen has an associate degree in criminal justice from Southern State Community College and a bachelor’s and master’s in criminal justice administration from Columbia Southern University. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command and a 2015 participant in the Police Executive Leadership College (PELC).
Former Chief Ron Cravens retired from the position in April. Administrative Sergeant Neil Rager has served as interim chief since Cravens retired.